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The Seamstresses in my House-Part 10

15 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Here is a picture of the four generations in our family, with our first child, Karen.  There’s my Grandmother (Granny), my Mother (Agnes), myself, and Karen.  (Bubbles is peeking in there, too)

I had made that dress out of an off-white polyester.  I liked the fabric, and liked the style of the dress.  I believe I made several dresses in that same style, in different colors.

And here is a picture of another polyester dress I made.  It was in white, with a collar and long sleeves (which you can’t see in this picture). 

It was made as a maternity dress, but had the potential of being cut down following the birth, and worn as either a loose-fitting dress, or belted in at the waistline.  Unfortunately, I felt like I was always pregnant while wearing it (later, after Janet was born), didn’t wear it much after.  I usually wore it with a multi-colored scarf, like is shown in this picture.  Bright earrings and possibly a necklace added to the versatility of this style of dress.

Following Janet’s birth, I made at least one dress of this style – perhaps more, I don’t remember – because it was easy to “unwrap” and nurse Janet.  This was made in a silky polyester, swingy, that I wore with an old concho belt I had from my younger days.  It was most comfortable style, and was even comfortable in Washington D.C. in September.

Here’s a picture of an outfit I made from cotton/polyester.  It was a sleeveless, dropped-waist summer dress, and most comfortable to wear.  Here we are in St. Augustine, Florida, as we were moving from Maine to San Antonio, Texas for Fred’s next assignment.  It was in September, and the weather was warm enough for a cotton-blend outfit.  I made several outfits in the same style, because I liked the pattern so very much.

Here is a picture of our two beautiful girls.  Karen is six (6), and Janet is headed to three (3).  While I didn’t SEW these outfits, I did crochet them in cotton thread.  The girls wore them for many years, and Janet finally inherited Karen’s when she outgrew hers.  At that point, they seemed to enjoy wearing the “same” clothes.  That changed.

Here’s another dress I made out of polyester.  I really liked the blue, and liked the pattern and style of the dress.  I enjoyed having a place to put that jeweled pin, as well. 

This picture shows our friend, Frau Katie that I’ve mentioned in previous musings.  She made a trip to the U.S. to visit us and several other of her friends.  In this picture, we had taken her to the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas.  Karen is wearing the dirndle that Katie had purchased for her.  Another dress that Janet inherited from Karen in later years.

In this picture, I’m wearing another polyester dress I made.

There wasn’t really anything spectacular about the style of dress, but I liked the comfort of the style, and the fabric was comfortable.  I probably made it because I had purchased that purple and lavender bead necklace!  I don’t remember sewing either of the dresses the girls are wearing in this picture.

More to come….

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 9

8 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

About the time polyester made it’s appearance in fabric and clothing, I found that I could make an A-line skirt with only one yard of pure polyester fabric.  It was usually about 64″ wide, so that gave me whatever I needed to make the skirt.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of any of those skirts.

However, at the same time, I made at least one suit from this red patterned polyester that I thoroughly enjoyed wearing. 

Karen and me

Polyester became my favorite fabric to work on as well as wear.  The only unfortunate thing about polyester, is that it pills!  Many years later, when I worked for a fiber and yarn company, it was described to me that cotton threads “sloughed off” while polyester has little “hooks” that grab and pill.  Interesting.

One thing I did while in Germany, was to take a tailoring class.  I had never been so instructed in the art of sewing, and found that detail in sewing makes a great difference in the finished garment.  For instance, in that class, I made this wool suit – skirt and jacket.  Unfortunately, this picture isn’t in color – so just picture the suit I’m wearing in this picture a deep purple. 

Our little family-Fred, Karen and me

About the same shade as this dark purple iris.

I really enjoyed that suit.  It had a lining in the skirt and jacket.  And I learned to make bound buttonholes.  WOW! was that an art in itself!  When my mother came to Germany to visit, she showed me a suit she had bought.  The saleslady had informed her that “bound buttonholes were out, and this kind of buttonholes were the way to go.”  I told mother she had been sold a bill of goods – they weren’t anywhere as neat as the bound buttonholes, which are quite classy.

I found a pattern for a dress that I used both on cotton (like this picture), as well as polyester.  I made up several dresses from it. Here is a picture of me in one of those dresses (polyester) shortly after our second daughter was born.  We were in Maine.

Also, here is a picture of our Karen at that same time, in Maine. 

While we were in Germany I made this little cape for her from a fuzzy polyester fabric, and lined it with a plaid flannel fabric.  It kept her nice and toasty while outside.  I was pleased to find, years later during a visit to Karen’s house, that our granddaughter had the cape on one of her dolls!  The little hat she has on was made by our good friend, Frau Katie.

About that same time, the “style” of dresses became this sort of “shift” or “sack.”  It was easy to make – again in either polyester or cotton – and easy to wear.  In this particular picture we were in Berlin, Germany.  I had also made that little sun dress that Karen is wearing.  It was made from cotton.

The dress I’m wearing in this picture was one I made from polyester.  I really liked the pattern, and made it with sleeves, without sleeves, in polyester and also in a polyester blend.  One good thing about polyester and polyester blend, is that it packs well, and so travels well.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 8

1 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

During the one year we were in San Jose, my father had a terrible accident, just before Christmas, and we all – Bill and his family – and Fred and I flew to Albuquerque for Christmas.  I was there three weeks, Fred for the middle week, and Bill’s family for about one week, as I remember.  It was to be Daddy’s last Christmas, as he died four months later.

The whole gang – Mom, Dad, Granny, Aunt Jessie, Bill, DiVoran, Renie, Billy, Fred and myself

Since I was pregnant with our first child, I began looking for fabric to make maternity dresses.  As it happened, in San Jose, the couple next door to us in the apartment building were also Air Force people.  The wife was a home economics teacher, and was teaching in a relatively poor school in San Jose.  She went to some upholstery stores, and begged them for any scraps of drapery fabric they could/would donate for her students to learn to sew on.  She gave me the first choice of that fabric, and I took several pieces.  Some of them were large enough to make several dresses.  Here is one example of a dress I made.  

While we were in Albuquerque, before we headed to Germany (our first assignment), I was given a baby shower.  Here is a picture of one of the dresses I made.  Mother had told me to make a “dress” rather than a “top and bottom” and that I wouldn’t look so big.  Well, that didn’t work, did it?  I look as big as a house!  Perhaps the fabric was just that flimsy, suppose?

Mother and me

Another dress I made from the drapery fabric was a really pretty, off-white, silky, shiny fabric.  It made up into a lovely dress.  Unfortunately, it was quite heavy, and had a “backing” on it.  Great for drapery, but not so much for hot-weather wearing!  Again unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of that dress.  Also again unfortunately, my passport had not come through, and we had to stop in D.C. at the Pentagon to pick it up before I could accompany Fred to Germany.  He had been told that all personnel in the Pentagon wore Class-A uniforms, even in the summer.  That included his wool uniform, with long-sleeved shirt and full jacket.  So in hot hot hot June, we were in D.C., with me wearing that hot hot hot dress, and Fred in full uniform – only to find that ALL the military personnel were in short-sleeved summer uniforms!  No wool and no jackets!  We were both about to melt!

After securing my passport, we were scheduled to fly to Philadelphia, PA, and spend the night with Fred’s Aunt Anna and Uncle Lyn.  I could hardly wait to get there – and into that air-conditioned house!  And perhaps take a nice, cool shower, as well.  Well, to our surprise and dismay, when we got to their house, we found it to be a row-house:  no air conditioning, and no shower – only a tub!  But I made the best of that situation, and got into a cotton dress I had made.  Here is a picture of me in that dress alongside Fred’s  Aunt Anna and Uncle Lyn.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 7

24 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

After Fred graduated from SWBTS (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) in Fort Worth, Texas,

Credit Google Search and SWBTS

we left Texas and spent about three weeks with Fred’s family in Dayton, Ohio.  From there, we drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to visit with my parents and my brothers family.  Bill and DiVoran were moving from California to Florida, for him to begin working with the U.S. Space program.  

I think, while we were in Albuquerque, I finally gave up that old sewing machine, and purchased a newer, modern machine.  As I remember, it was a Sears Kenmore and was truly amazing, compared to what I had before!

After several months of Fred’s not being able to find a job in the religious field, his draft board told him he was being reassigned as a “1-A” which probably put him at the top of the chart for being drafted into the Army.  After having completed eight years of college and seminary, he decided to see whether or not he would be eligible for a commission in the military – especially the U.S. Air Force.  That turned out to be the case, and we left Albuquerque for San Antonio, Texas, for Fred to train at the Air Force’s OTS (Officer Training School).  He became a “90-day Wonder” – since the training only lasted for three months.  He was then commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (Lt) in the Air Force.  Here is a picture of Fred and me following his commissioning 

 I had made this dress out of a pretty silky acetate fabric.  I was able to wear it for quite a few years. 

(his full-Colonel father came to the commissioning ceremony, to help pin on his new rank). 

Here is another outfit I made during those three months Fred was at OTS.  It is made from 100% cotton, and is of three pieces – skirt, sleeveless blouse, and jacket.  Again, I was able to wear a jeweled pin with the jacket to hold it together.  Interesting shape of the jacket, for sure.

During those three months, I essentially had the apartment to myself, as Fred was required to stay in the barracks on base, except for one night a week.  So while I was working at Kelly AFB during those three months, I still had plenty of time to myself, so I spent a lot of that time sewing.  

Following commissioning, Fred was given three options to choose as his field of study and service.  One was missile launch officer (no thanks!), another was munitions officer (again, no thanks!) and the third choice was Meteorologist (bingo!)  Since his undergraduate degree was in math and physics, that seemed to be the best choice. 

In order to get the training Fred needed to become a meteorologist, he needed to study at a university that had that school of training.  So the Air Force sent us to San Jose, California, for him to study at San Jose State College (university, now). 

Credit Google Search and San Jose State University website

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in my House-Part 6

17 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Previously, I mentioned the old sewing machine that my parents gave me as a wedding present.  It was an old treadle machine that had the treadle removed, and a motor attached. 

Credit:Pixabay

It had a long bobbin (which I had never seen before then!).

Credit Google Search and Treadle Lady

But it was quite efficient in any case, and I was able to sew many garments on it.

While I don’t have pictures of all the garments I made on that machine, I do remember some of them.  For instance, I made this “shirtwaist” dress out of cotton – perhaps a cotton blend.  Polyester/cotton blend was making its appearance about that time, and a lot of the “cotton” fabrics were that blend.  This picture shows more of the cat we adopted than my dress, but the color and style is there.  It was a work dress, for sure.

I remember making a skirt and blouse/top out of nylon jersey.  While it wasn’t terribly easy to work with, it made a very comfortable outfit to wear.

I remember making a “shell” top for Fred’s mother for a Christmas present one year.  I made it out of an off-white satin and lined it with an opaque nylon fabric.  I don’t know whether or not she ever wore it, but I made it with care, just for her.  Fred’s father was still in the U.S. Air Force at that time, and they attended many formal occasions.  I thought it might be something she could wear to one of those.

Here is a picture of my dad and myself in Albuquerque.  I am holding my niece, fresh from her bath.  The suit I have on was one that I had purchased (probably at a thrift store), but didn’t like the collar on it.  So I took off the collar and made it a jewel neckline that buttoned to the top, and wore a jeweled pin at the neckline.  It was of an acetate fabric.

This picture is of a fellow worker, Melba, who became one of my best friends.  While we are about eight or nine years apart in age (she’s older), we are quite close.  This is a dress I made out of a light green (almost chartreuse) gabardine fabric.  It was another work dress.

Here is a picture of Fred, my parents (then his parents) and myself.  I had made this top and skirt for other-than-work-or-church times.  It was a cute cotton or cotton-blend fabric, and I remember wearing and enjoying that outfit a lot.

And here’s a picture of Fred and me at Mesa Verde, Colorado.  We had made a trip to Albuquerque to visit my parents, and we went together to Colorado.  I had made this top out of cotton, and the pants out of chino.  Both were quite comfortable to wear.

And one last picture – a perfect example of what NOT to wear!  I don’t remember just where I obtained the fabric – it was a silky, acetate fabric – but that’s not the problem.  That shows me that orange is NOT my color!  Again, we were visiting my parents at Easter time in Albuquerque, and that was my Easter outfit.  Never again orange!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in my House-Part 5

10 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I remember there were four of us girls from church and high school that hung around together.  (The following pictures are all from our Senior year books)

That’s me!
Shirley

Jerrie
Nan

I don’t remember if ALL of us tried to wear clothing alike, but I do know that one of the girls and myself tried to be “twins.”  For instance, I remember that we both made gray corduroy full-circle skirts (lot of crinolines underneath the skirt!), that we paired with a soft pink sweater, and probably a scarf around our neck.  I just wish I had a picture of that, but I don’t!  Shucks!  In any case, I was learning how to make a skirt with a zipper in the side.  Zippers were difficult for me to sew in place.  It was a learning experience, for sure.

Here is a picture of Fred and me in 1960 – but before our wedding.  I was to sing at the wedding of one of my best friends – one of those four friends I mentioned above.  I made the skirt out of some kind of shimmery, iridescent fabric, and paired it with a soft knit top.  I was getting better at those zippers!

While I didn’t sew this particular suit, it became one of my favorites.  It was a soft gabardine fabric, with a white cotton collar.  Here is a picture of me in that suit, along with my fiancé Fred.  

Here is a picture of me kissing my new father-in-law goodbye, just before Fred and I left for our honeymoon.  Apparently Fred’s mother and sister thought that was hilarious!  I had made my going-away outfit, out of a cotton-blend fabric, in light aqua.  The dress itself was smooth fabric, while the jacket was textured, but in the same color.  It was quite comfortable to sew and wear. 

 Here is a black-and-white picture of Fred and me as we were ready to leave the church.  I regret now that we didn’t have those pictures done in color rather that black-and-white.

While we received many gifts for our wedding, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was from my Mother and Dad – my own sewing machine!  I don’t know where Mom found it, but it was an old treadle sewing machine which had been made into an electric machine.  Someone had removed the attachment that made the treadle, but attached a motor to it.  It was so old that it had a long bobbin,

Credit Google Search and Treadle Lady

rather than the round ones we use now.

Credit Google Search

I had never seen one before, but I certainly learned how to use it – and use it I did in the several years following.

Credit Pixabay

Following our wedding, we made our way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Fort Worth, Texas, where Fred was to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS).  We eventually stayed there for four years.  That sewing machine came in quite handy during that time.  And also during that time, Fred’s Dad had been assigned to Hawaii as a Chaplain.  He took quite a few trips during his assignment there, and on one of his trips, he purchased some beautiful Thai silk that he sent to us.  I made this dress from that Thai silk, and wore it many years, in comfort.  It was a lovely fabric.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Texas Bluebonnts

3 Apr

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills

“It’s that time of year again, for me to re-post this blog.”                                              

                                    

2

Some of my family is from Texas – actually my brother and I were born in Dallas, but moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when we were small children. But my mother’s mother (Granny) and her oldest daughter, Jessie, lived in San Antonio for many years.

3

Consequently, I had known about the Texas Bluebonnets for longer than I really knew what they were.

4

Even though Fred and I lived in Fort Worth for many years, it wasn’t until we moved to San Antonio that I really knew about the Texas Bluebonnets. And they are AMAZING! They have been adopted as the state flower of Texas.

5

On the internet I found this: As historian Jack Maguire so aptly wrote, “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.” He goes on to affirm that “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”  Well said.

6

 

When Springtime comes to Texas – from the Dallas/Fort Worth area down to the Corpus Christi area – the Bluebonnets are in full bloom, from late March to mid-April. They are the most dainty, beautiful flower, and we’ve see just fields and fields of them – like a blanket of blue in some cases. I’ve been sent many pictures of them via e-mail through the years, and have enjoyed seeing them all.

7

There is even one of Bluebonnets in the snow! Must have been a late storm – although Dallas/Fort Worth can have abundant snow in early Spring.

When we moved from San Antonio to Florida, I took some Bluebonnet seeds with me and planted them, hoping for some lovely spring flowers to remind me of Texas. No such luck! As I’ve just gleaned from google, they must be planted in the fall and have to have the wind, rain, and cold weather to make them leap forth in the Spring. And the panhandle of Florida just doesn’t have that kind of winter weather. Shucks! Oh well, I then planted strawberry plants and they did very well.

11

But the Texas Bluebonnet is a source of great pride for Texas – as if they needed something else! And they are just a beautiful side of Texas that most don’t know about. I think a lot of people think of Texas as dusty, flat, and unimaginative. But it is full of great differences, including some of the most beautiful flowers in God’s creation.

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                       I’m just so glad I was able to see them, and enjoy their beauty.

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 4

27 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

When I was about 13 years old, it became a fashion to have a circular skirt made out of felt.  Granny made quite a few of them for me.  Here is one in fuchsia. 

She also made one of a beautiful turquoise that I wore when I was older.

And she made one of red, for me to be in the Christmas parade in downtown Albuquerque one year. 

Judy and best friend, Shirley

I was in Jefferson Junior High School at the time, and we each had a placard with a letter that spelled out J E F F E R S O N.

 And of course, all those skirts had layers of crinoline (petticoats) under the skirt to make them stand out, rather than lay flat, but that was the “style” back in those days.  Either crinolines or hoops under the skirts.

I do remember about that same time, that Mother had a gentleman come by the house and display clothing for us.  He was physically handicapped, and this was his living.  We purchased quite a bit of clothing from him.  This green and black plaid skirt with the green sweater was one of those purchases.  The skirt was a light-weight wool.

This blue skirt and sweater in wool is another example. 

He carried quality merchandise, and we were glad to give him our business.

Here I am in my Easter finery in 1955.  I wish I could remember just what the fabric was, but I don’t, perhaps some kind of acetate, but definitely not satin.  I seem to remember it was a soft, silky and shiny fabric, and was so very comfortable to wear.  I am sure that either Granny or Mother made it for me.  It is a fairly simple design.

Bill and Judy

Here I am in another dress in 1956 (I was 15 at the time).  It was store-bought, as I remember, and was sort of a polished cotton.  Looks like I had a hoop under the skirt, perhaps with some crinolines to make the skirt stand out.

Here I am in my High School Senior dress.

Mother and I went shopping for a dress for me for Graduation.  I tried on dress after dress, but when I put this one on…we both looked at each other as if to say – “that’s the one!”  It was pink and pretty, and fit me just right.  This particular picture was taken at one of my wedding showers, so apparently I hadn’t put on too much weight (and inches) that I could still wear it.  I really loved that dress!

Here is a picture of our wedding party.

I am wearing my Mother’s wedding dress made with a lace overlay

I had the girls wear white, along with the candle lighters (sisters) and the flower girl.  Fred’s mother made the dresses for his sisters, and either Granny or Mother made DiVoran’s dress.  They were made from a soft, silky fabric, not stiff like taffeta, but softer, again perhaps an acetate.

The Christmas before we married in June, Fred, my parents and I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, California to spend Christmas with my brother Bill, and his wife DiVoran.  I had been sewing quite a few things by this time, and one of the dresses I had made was this one in this picture.  It was a cotton fabric.

 My Dad and Fred are there with me.  I had heard that sewing plaid fabrics were quite difficult, but I didn’t find it so difficult to match up, as this dress shows.  I sewed quite a few plaid garments throughout my lifetime, and never really found them to be all that difficult.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 3

20 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

While I lived a lot of my growing-up years in fiesta dresses, that was not the only type of clothing I wore.  I have pictures of myself in many dresses and outfits other than the fiesta dresses, but have no memory of whether they were store-bought, or made by my grandmother or mother.  Many of the play clothes I wore, I am sure were made from cotton.  Since sun dresses for a small girl’s body were fairly simple to make, I’m convinced they were home-made. 

1943 – Bill (5) and Judy (2) in Granny’s backyard, San Antonio, Texas

1945 – we had just moved to Albuquerque – I was nearly 4 years old

Since polyester had not been perfected yet as a type of fabric, I’m sure cotton was the way to go.  Here are a few examples. 

1949 – Albuquerque – Bill (11) and Judy (8) – clowning around

1950 – Albuquerque – Judy (9) and my best friend Shirley (9)

1950 – Albuquerque – Judy (9) holding Boots

Again, I’m not sure whether they were store-bought, or whether my grandmother or mother made them.  Most of these were before I had learned to handle the sewing machine.

Here is a white velvet dress that was made for me.  Apparently I was to be a “Junior Bride” in a wedding, and my dress mirrored the bride’s dress.  I was five years old at the time.

1946 – Albuquerque

One reason I think more of my clothes were store-bought, is the ruffles and trim that I see on some of these dresses.  I know, from experience, that those “touches” are not easy to put on a garment.  I remember making dresses for our Karen when she was just a small child.  First of all, she was not happy having to “model” the dress/outfit as I was making it.  Second, I found I could purchase adorable outfits for her from J.C. Penney’s or Sears, with all the trim and ruffles, for less cost than if I purchased the fabric and spent my time attempting to make the garment.

1970 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Karen is 2½

1970 – Albuquerque – Karen (2½) with Oma

As I grew older, many of my more dressy clothes were made from other-than-cotton fabrics.  I’m not exactly sure just what type of fabric was used.  I do know that, like in this picture, it was perhaps a taffeta-type of fabric.  It was a shiny fabric, for sure.  

1950 – Albuquerque – Judy at the old upright piano

1952 – Some kind of iridescent fabric, but softer than taffeta 

I’m not sure just what the occasion was for me to be wearing this dress and holding a candle – perhaps I was in a wedding, and would be lighting the candles?  I seem to be awfully young for handling a lit candle, however.  Not sure what fabric the dress was made of.  I was 11 years old at the time.

1952 – Albuquerque

I actually remember the vest I have on in this picture.  I believe it was a heavier weight cotton, perhaps twill,  and I would wear it most seasons of the year.  It was quite comfortable over a sweater, or over a cotton shirt.  I believe my mother made it for me.

1953 – Albuquerque – the Lites family

I remember that the “Poodle skirt” was the “in” thing at that time.

Credit Google Search and Grace Opulanza

I remember coming home from school one day, and finding that my Mother had made me one – it was draped across the second twin bed in my room! 

1955 – Albuquerque – the “Poodle Skirt”

I was ecstatic!  It was cotton, of course, and made in “gores.”  While it wasn’t exactly that current “type” of poodle skirt, I really liked mine.  I think the design (poodles) was pre-printed on the fabric:  just cut it out and stitch it up.  We made up the blouse to match the color, and I wore a scarf around my neck along with the outfit.  That was a fun thing to wear, for sure!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Seamstresses in my House-Part 2

13 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Last time I mentioned my first sewing experience.  I would like to quote myself from a previous posting about that:

All those yards and yards of fabric would eventually be made into a Fiesta Dress, or Squaw Dress, as some called it.  Three tiers, each one “longer” than the one above it.  Those dresses could be made from just about any fabric and color combination.  I remember a royal blue fabric with nothing but copper trim – one of my favorites.  I remember a winter dress made from blue corduroy – no trim needed.  I remember one made from fabric that looked like bandana design – no trim needed on that one, either.

 I remember one that was made in light cotton – white – with red and red-and-white trim.  It was great – until I washed it the first time – and the red ran like crazy!!  So my Aunt Jessie took the dress (blouse and skirt) and dyed them beige.  For some reason, the red didn’t show where it had run, and really looked rather classy with the red trim.  Another favorite of mine.  Oh, so many dresses.

And the skirts were not left “pouffy” like they might be today

Credit Pixabay

but  they were hand-pleated after being soaked in starch!  And to keep the pleats in, we rolled the skirt into itself and stuffed it into a nylon stocking.  Jessie’s dogs LOVED to get at those to fight with them!  

One might ask how we “pleated” the skirts.  It was a process, for sure.  The seam that joined the skirt together was done in a “basting stitch” – or a very long stitch.  It was easily removed, which we did before washing.  Of course we washed the skirt as usual.  Then we dipped it into a starch solution, and while wet with starch, we would attach it to a large board by the waistband to the top of the board with old-fashioned clothes pins. 

The board we used was pressboard (similar to peg board 

Credit: Home Depot

but without the holes), about 1/4 inch thick, and about four (4) feet by six (6) feet.  One side was painted white, where we laid the skirt.

Credit:Home Depot

 We would – literally – hand pleat the top row of the skirt.  Then we would stretch a long strip of cloth across the seam of that tier, and anchor it on each side of the board with another clothes pin.  Then we would repeat the pleating process on the tier below that, and then repeat it with the lowest and longest tier.  We would than stand the board upright at an angle, so the excess moisture and starch could drain off the fabric and board. Since New Mexico is such a dry humidity state, we had no fear that the skirt would mildew – and they never did!  When dry, the joining seam would be baste-stitched again, and the skirt was ready to wear.  As mentioned in the previous paragraph, we would roll the skirt together, and stuff it into an old nylon stocking to keep the pleats in.

Most of my fiesta dresses were out of light-weight cotton, with only a few exceptions.  The one I remember the most was the blue corduroy – only worn in winter.  I remember the blue with copper trim was a heavier weight cotton, as was the chartreuse with purple trim.

DiVoran stated:  

Granny made one for me. It was red voile (lightweight cotton) with silver trim. I did find a place to wear it when we moved to Florida. I wore it to square-dancing with several crinoline (stand-out) underskirts.

And that brings me to say that all those skirts were worn with crinoline petticoats under them, to make them “stand out.”

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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